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NEWS CAPSULES

RUSSIAN BOMBS? Russian aircraft have bombed Afghanistan's northern Takhar province, killing at least 100 people and wounded more than 200, official Kabul Radio reported Thursday. The Afghan government has protested the bombing to the United Nations, reported the radio, which is run by the forces loyal to Afghan President Burha- nuddin Rabbani. The broadcast, monitored in Islamabad, said Russian aircraft have continued bombing the northern Takhar and Badakhsan provinces for the fourth consecutive day.

CHERNOBYL TO CLOSE: The Chernobyl nuclear power plant will be closed for good by the year 2000, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma told European Union and G-7 represen- tatives Thursday. "President Kuchma emphasized that he has made a decision to shut down Chernobyl by the end of the century," French Environment Minister Michel Barnier said after talks with Kuchma and other leaders in Kiev. Delegates from the EU and the G-7 said the organizations would support Ukraine's effort to close the station financially as well as morally.

Across the nation

RESIGNATION: Assistant U.S. Housing Secretary Roberta Achtenberg will resign to run for mayor of San Francisco. She had won a tough Senate confirmation fight to become the highest-level openly gay member of the Clinton administration. "If I'm going to be mayor of San Francisco, I have to begin my campaign immediately," Achtenberg said in an interview Thursday. President Clinton nominated Achtenberg in February 1993 to be assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity, setting off a firestorm of criticism from conservatives.

POLICE GUARD: Police will guard a church in Greensburg, Pa., over Easter weekend to keep out two women who pray too loudly, a judge ruled Thursday. Joan Sudwoj and Cynthia Balconi refused to obey a court order barring them from Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, so Judge Bernard Scherer ordered the county sheriff to post deputies to keep them out. The two women did not attend Thursday's contempt-of-court hearing, and they could not be reached for comment.